Paul and I left balmy New Hampshire on Wednesday, January 6th at about 9 am. When I jumped in the car it was 3 degrees! We hit the tarmac in Tampa around 12:30 and it was over 70 degrees. What a nice time of year to go to Florida. We went right to the Convention Center and hit the floor running. I went to see my favorite dealers that have a nice selection of coins for me and was shocked at how little inventory was new and fresh. I knew right off it was going to be a bad buying show. There were not enough nice coins available but I did my best and our double row box of new coins will be up on our site soon.
We sold a fair amount of coins to dealers that appreciate the difference between commercial grading and technical grading. If you can hone your eye to learn technical grading, you will do well in this business and your collection will be more desirable. Some people can’t or don’t want to believe that all coins are different and unique from others even in the same grade. I’m glad CAC is maintaining a strong presence in our industry because it lends credence to what we’ve always said, “Buy the coin, not the holder.” It’s ignorant to complain when you go begging to sell junk or you do have a nice coin and you let an unscrupulous dealer steal it from you for commercial prices. It happens all the time. We are always happy to make offers or give opinions on coins at no charge. It’s free to get the opinion of numismatists with 4 decades of experience, here for the asking.
Attendance was good and it created a nice buzz on the floor. Kudos to F.U.N. for paying for Florida Coin Clubs’ transportation to the show. It’s a nice perk to talk to so many collectors. Paul and I sometimes spent over an hour with collectors to give them an A-Z tutorial on coins or grading. We love our profession and hobby and always want to help out. One collector came to the table with a modern issue he wanted to sell or trade. We are not up on moderns, so I said “let me take it to a modern market maker and get a price for you.” The first four were only selling them, not buying. But the fifth was a hit; a real offer to buy for $1,477. I told the collector that we can pay you $1,477 whether you sell or trade. He was impressed with my effort, so he elected to trade the coin. I sold it for $1,477 as fast as I could. When I went back to the dealer table he wanted to pay less and I said that was okay as long as I can sell it. He was a nice guy and said okay to the $1,477. Beware of the modern market, it can get illiquid.
The auctions were weak! Most of the currency went begging. There were also good deals in the coin auctions. Marginal pieces got murdered! So much money has been expended in auctions in the last year that there is a glut of coins entering auctions. Look for people to start offering more coins on the bourse floor in the future. When coins sell cheap in auctions and you have to pay the sales commissions, it’s a huge double whammy! Nice coins still brought strong money. Our prices realized for our consignment was shockingly high! It’s not unusual for us to sell coins in auction for more than we could price them for retail. The coins just have to be technically nice and with good eye-appeal.
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